Dr. Arriaga speaks to the Club at a well-attended meeting

The Coastside Democratic Club was privileged to host Dr. Belinda Hernandez-Arriaga at the Klein home on February 9th.  Belinda shared with us her first-hand experiences from her visits to the Southern Border where she spent time with immigrants in the immigration detention centers.  She shared how the immigrants are not sneaking across the border illegally – they are attempting to gain asylum in our country legally.  She shared the conditions that they are subject to upon arrival, including children being separated from parents, being served still-frozen food, sleeping on concrete floors with only an aluminum “space blanket” for warmth and being put in fenced areas that immigrants nicknamed “vicious animal cages”.  It was very educational, emotional and sobering hearing these stories from a local person who has actually been there and seen the conditions first hand.

We thank Belinda for sharing with us and we commend her for the work that she is doing.

Dr. Belinda Hernandez-Arriaga has a doctorate in Education, is an Associate Professor at USCF and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with eighteen years experience working in community mental health, with a specialization in child trauma and Latino Mental Health.  Belinda is also the Founder and Chief Executive Director of Ayudando Latinos A Soñar (www.alashmb.org), a Latino cultural arts, education and social justice program dedicated to working with rural youth and families living on the coastside

Dr. Arriaga with host Rich Klein.